“Far from being something to fear and avoid, every change-even the most difficult and painful–gives us an opportunity to receive the miraculous gift of personal transformation. The only real failure in life is the failure to grow from what we go through.” –Marianne Williamson

As I have grown older and hopefully wiser over five decades, life has had a way of teaching me through experiences that having control over people or events is an illusion and that change is constant in the human condition. Marianne Williamson’s book, The Gift of Change, has been an inspiration to me as I have written my memoir over the past ten years, The Gift of Goodbye: A Story of Agape Love. Marianne Williamson was one of my mother’s favorite authors. She gave me a copy of The Gift of Change before she passed away and after reading the book, I started to shift my thinking from believing I have no control over what happens to me to choosing my thoughts, beliefs and reactions in any given situation. It has been a long road to accepting and rolling with the constant change cycle, following several years of deep loss and transition. Over a three-year period, I went through a divorce and divested assets, graduated with an advanced degree, purchased and sold a new home, moved to a new state, bought another house, changed jobs, had back surgery, and said goodbye to my mother as she passed from this life. I started writing in a journal through these many transitions and then decided to turn my story into a book. Every time I would sit down to write, I would make some progress, then face a wall of grief. While I started writing this book several times, I finally broke through my writing walls when I started capturing my story on a blog. All of a sudden, I had readers depending on me to share more. This positive reinforcement inspired me to keep going and several years later, I am honored to share the finished story. While I transitioned through probably every big life change possible, and then a few more, my need to control started to dissipate, due to my courage to grow and my choice to let go. It was my mother’s selfless and unconditional love that was my guiding force through my many transitions and ultimately led to my heart-opening journey to authenticity through the process of writing and publishing The Gift of Goodbye.